HCMH restricting hospital visits to minimize spread of flu

Staff report

December 12, 2012

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital is taking a variety of precautions to minimize the growing spread of flu viruses.

“The health of our patients and our community is very important to us,” said David E. Loving, HCMH Chief Executive Officer. “The flu increases the risk of complications to patients with other illnesses, such as individuals who are receiving cancer treatments, to others with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, infants, children, and the elderly. Therefore, as the number of patients with flu-like illnesses continues to increase, so does our vigilance to try and prevent them. For that reason, we are implementing new temporary visitation guidelines for the health of our patients, their families, visitors and our community.”

The temporary visitation guidelines are effective immediately and will remain in effect until this flu season passes. The guidelines include:

• Visitors under the age of 18 are restricted from visiting the hospital.

• Visitors with flu/cold-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea,

body aches or any sign of respiratory or other illnesses should not visit the hospital.

• Patients with flu-like symptoms may only have one visitor.

• Patients in the Emergency Department may only have one visitor during their stay.

• Patients and visitors to any patients who have presented with or who are isolated with flu/cold-

like illnesses may be asked to wear masks, gloves and gowns in waiting and/or treatment areas.

Additionally, everyone is strongly encouraged to protect his or her health by:

• Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or a shirtsleeve when you cough or sneeze.

• Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze, hand

sanitizers can also be effective in controlling the spread of viruses.

• Avoiding close contact with infected individuals whenever possible.

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital has provided medical care for residents over 82 years. A private, not-for-profit hospital, HCMH employs more than 940.